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jdammer

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Alright. So my girlfriend and I have done two expert kits. The Mezza Luna White and the Washington Riesling. Both turned out pretty well.

Now we want to start a red and bulk age it for about six months. I know everybody has different tastes in reds but I just want to hear everyones personal favorite. We're looking to do one of the higher end kits since we're going to invest the time into aging it that long.

Just want to hear your favorite expert kits

Thanks!
 

rawlus

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the higher end kits will need much longer than 6 months of aging to be drinkable/enjoyable/peak. i would suggest a more middle of the road kit for the timeframe you are considering, meza luna red is a popular choice for an "early drinker" which is what 6 months is. i have also had the WE WV Valpolicella at 6-8months and because it is a lighter style wine it is very good. i would not do any cabs or big bold tannic wines with expectations of consuming in 6 months.. go for lighter, less tannic varieties... cab blends, merlots, and some of the lighter italian styles may be good candidates.. in general, blends may be more forgiving in that timeframe than pure varietals.. i would not invest in vineyard-designated kits if you intend to consume in 6 months.. better to make two red kits side by side (an early drinker and an ager) than to try to coax early drinking out of a kit meant for solid 2 year aging.

whatever you do - hold back 6-10 bottles if you can for 1 year, 2 years... doint drink it all in the 6-12 months range, so you can really appreciate how time in the bottle really improves the wine.
 

Edward Sacco

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the higher end kits will need much longer than 6 months of aging to be drinkable/enjoyable/peak. i would suggest a more middle of the road kit for the timeframe you are considering, meza luna red is a popular choice for an "early drinker" which is what 6 months is. i have also had the WE WV Valpolicella at 6-8months and because it is a lighter style wine it is very good. i would not do any cabs or big bold tannic wines with expectations of consuming in 6 months.. go for lighter, less tannic varieties... cab blends, merlots, and some of the lighter italian styles may be good candidates.. in general, blends may be more forgiving in that timeframe than pure varietals.. i would not invest in vineyard-designated kits if you intend to consume in 6 months.. better to make two red kits side by side (an early drinker and an ager) than to try to coax early drinking out of a kit meant for solid 2 year aging.

whatever you do - hold back 6-10 bottles if you can for 1 year, 2 years... doint drink it all in the 6-12 months range, so you can really appreciate how time in the bottle really improves the wine.
Exactly right, even the entry level kits will improve with age. Ive given bottles to some of my wine maker friends after they are 1 1/2 to two years of age and give the wines my own names, they dont know what they are and they are very impressed. Thy think i made them from grapes. God bless, Ed
 

Runningwolf

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We are white wine drinkers and we even let them age at least six months. Incidently we got the Washington Columbia Valley Riesling first then the next time we opted for the less expensive Washington Riesling and there was a huge differance in quality. We just ordered another Washinton Columbia. As are tastes are changing though we did start a few of the better reds knowing that they'll be at their peak in 1.5 to 2 years and at that point we'll probably be red drinkers.
 

Wade E

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If you are looking for a big red wine then I will tell you tpo get a grapeskin kit but like said above you will need to age it at least 8 months minimum!!!!!!! Im not to fond of lighter red wines so cant help you there. Im also not very fond of W.E. red wine kits except for a limited few as they seem to have a lot more of kit taste that either will only go away with a lot of time like 2 years or never go away. Other \kits do have this taste to but to a much lesser extent or some not at all. My Personal Opiion!
 

Racer

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I haven't done too many red wine kits. But the limited edition Brunello I made last year is really tasting good now. It continues to improve with time still. It was a limited edition release this year too maybe someone still has one in stock.
 

Wade E

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Limited editions will need a lot of aging as they are the high end kits just so that you know but are usually very good no matter what the brand!
 

jdammer

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Well maybe I'll just do one of the VR kits again and age that for the summer. Do you guys recommend bulk aging for most the summer and then bottling towards the end of the year? Or most of the time in the bottle?
 

mmadmikes1

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I haven't done too many red wine kits. But the limited edition Brunello I made last year is really tasting good now. It continues to improve with time still. It was a limited edition release this year too maybe someone still has one in stock.
i believe I saw it in the catalog for this year at wine store. But I could be wrong or reading an old book
 

millwright01

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I personally like the Selections Chilean Merlot. It is a good early drinker and also has great improvement after a year. It may get better even longer but I have not been able to get any saved that long!
 

rawlus

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the difference between bottle aging and bulk aging is not substantial provided clearing/settling has been successful and degassing has been successful. most of the time it is a practical matter, carboys take up less space than cases... i usually bulk age for 4-6 months until i have several carboys ready to bottle, then bottle several batches all at once. it is out of convenience for me more than anything.
 

robie

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You didn't indicate what/where/when/why about the red. With what do you want to drink it?

Forgetting the rules about what wine goes with what dish, I have found that I sometimes like a different red for sipping, as compared to one I want to drink along side a big hunk of beef, or a breast of chicken. Maybe I would want a different one, still, with a nice Mexican dinner.

For sipping, a softer pinot noir is nice. It's lighter and nice and smooth for sipping alone. A cab/sav goes with that chunk of beef. A merlot matches up nicely with Mexican food.

I love and frequently drink all the red varietals, but IMO, nothing can beat the flavor of a nice red blend. What blends do you like? Some of them come in kits, already blended.

All this should be considered in your decision.
 

St Allie

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a nice homemade chilli wine for sipping

Allie :bt
 

jdammer

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Thanks for all the replies.

This is what I did. Went to the store and bought another carboy and some other things. I picked up the Mezza Luna White. As some may recall that is how I found this board by not reading the directions carefully enough and dumping the full F-pack in the primary.

Anyways the wine still turned out well. I backsweetened a little bit. I know it's only been a couple of months but I don't see much if it lasting long enough get some decent aging time. I figured I'll just make another one.

I also ordered the Australian Chardonnay International selection.

I didn't get a red. Sounds like the heavy reds like I usually like to drink (cabs, merlots...) will take a good deal of time before they taste good. So I think I'll start the selection cab franc this summer and have it ready buy next fall. We really don't drink that much red. When we do I'll just go to the store.

Thanks for all the opinions. Fun to read.
 

robie

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I have made kits from W.E, RJS, MM and Cellar Craft.
I'm wondering why you are restricting the list of quality reds to WineXpert?
Everyone has his/her own opinion, but IMO, the RJS En Primeur and the Mosti Mondiale Maglioli (LE) and Mosti Mondiale All Juice Masters Edition kits are extremely high-end, ultra premium kits.

For body and fullness, nothing beats a Cellar Craft with grape pack.
(IMO)
 

jdammer

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The only reason I really do is my local shop only carries this kit. He sold a lot of beer stuff but is realizing that wine is starting to account for about 70% of his revenue. He just hasn't expanded his selection yet because his store is very small. I'm pretty positive he could order me some other kits but I haven't asked. He special ordered the Australian Chardonnay for me.

If there were some other kits in his store I'd try but I'm just starting so I figured I would just learn with the WE kits.
 

drizztkun

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Around here, people that sells WE cant sell other brands, thats why they sell different type of beer and not different brand of wine. I have found that place that sells RJ spagnols not to be restricted in this way. Might be a WE requierement only

just my 2 cents
 

winemakingontario

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Favorite Reds

Note - our top red in most quality categories is Barolo

My personal faves in each level below followed by our top seller.

Selection Estate Crushendo
My favourite - Valpolicella Classico di Veneto
Our Top Seller - Castellina Supertuscan di Siena

Selection Estate
My Favorite - Lodi Old Vines Zinfandel
Our Top Seller - Napa Valley Stag's Leap District Merlot
I expect the Italian Barolo to take over here. It's still pretty new to the lineup.

Selection International
My Favorite - New Zealand Pinot Noir - this is gorgeous
seeing as you wanted more traditional full body I'll mention the Italian Montepulciano (same grape as Brunello)
Our Top Seller - Australian Shiraz

Selection Original
My Favourite - Barolo - add 6 or so crushed peppercorns
Top Seller - Barolo

World Vineyard
My Favourite - Italian Barolo
Our Top Seller - Chilean Merlot

Vintners Reserve
My Favourite - Zinfandel/Cabernet
Top Seller - Valpolicella

Cheers
Brian
 

winemakingontario

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A note about Winexpert exclusivity.

The top 4 or 5 wine kit producers all have excellent products.
Winexpert is the undisputed overall champion in my opinion.

If a store is exclusive to Winexpert it is by choice.
Winexpert will only offer this to larger stores that meet their quality levels.
RJ Spagnols for example sells to all the other stores in my area.
On the other hand, I am the only store that sells Winexpert. I have an exclusive territory.

Cheers
Brian
 

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